Rosalía (Post-Flamenco Art-Pop From Spain)

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I just stumbled across this woman's work this week, and am blown away. Her first album, Los Ángeles, was kind of avant-flamenco, but very stripped-down and raw, with lots of songs about death; it was almost Chelsea Wolfe-ish at times. Her upcoming album, El Mal Querer, is a little more poppy/conventional, but it still uses the handclapping flamenco rhythm rather than standard beats, and the visuals (which are also all hers) are fantastic.

First video - "Malamente":

Second video - "Pienso en Tu Mirá":

grawlix (unperson), Wednesday, 25 July 2018 13:47 (one year ago) link

it's been a while since i was this amazed by every aspect of an artist's work on first impression like this, both those songs and videos are so good and the flamenco rhythms rule so much

ufo, Wednesday, 25 July 2018 14:19 (one year ago) link

visuals good but the first thing sounds *exactly* like what i'd imagine if someone said 'minimal flamenco pop' to me, it's a snooze

second song has more going on, especially rhythmically, but it still sounds like all the breathy moody pop ever

imago, Wednesday, 25 July 2018 14:29 (one year ago) link

You might like her first album better:

I like both.

grawlix (unperson), Wednesday, 25 July 2018 14:41 (one year ago) link

"Pienso en Tu Mirá" is astounding – a bit more info here:



Mentioned here, Rosalía will be acting in Pedro Almodóvar's new film. She's also appeared on this track by J Balvin, "Brillo" -

sbahnhof, Wednesday, 1 August 2018 06:49 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

album is out November 2nd

“El Mal Querer” sale el 2 de noviembre 😱😱😱😱
Droppin my new album on nov 2nd ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

— R O S A L Í A (@rosaliavt) September 13, 2018

Capitulo 1 AUGURIO - Malamente
Capitulo 2 BODA - Que no salga la luna
Capitulo 3 CELOS - Pienso en tu mirá
Capitulo 4 DISPUTA - De aquí no sales
Capitulo 5 LAMENTO - Reniego
Capitulo 6 CLAUSURA - Preso
Capitulo 7 LITURGIA - Bagdad
Capitulo 8 EXTASIS - Di mi nombre
Capitulo 9 CONCEPCIÓN - Nana
Capitulo 10 CORDURA - Maldición
Capitulo 11 PODER - A ningún hombre

ufo, Tuesday, 18 September 2018 17:57 (one year ago) link

Philip Sherburne has a nice profile & interview w/her today:

rob, Tuesday, 18 September 2018 18:40 (one year ago) link

I'm definitely curious about the album--the newer tracks are so different from the prev album. Like unperson I'm into both approaches but not 100% sure I want to hear handclaps on every track.

rob, Tuesday, 18 September 2018 18:43 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

new video out:

rob, Wednesday, 31 October 2018 15:21 (one year ago) link

lovely bass on that one

rob, Wednesday, 31 October 2018 15:25 (one year ago) link

I don't love the new video as much as the two before it, but I'm still really excited for the album. And the video is kinda Halloween-worthy, in a way - those creepy backup dancers appear out of nowhere.

grawlix (unperson), Wednesday, 31 October 2018 15:25 (one year ago) link

yeah I just watched Malamente again and this video is nowhere near that level. I like the autotune on the chorus (?), feels like a quick leap over the Mediterranean

rob, Wednesday, 31 October 2018 15:28 (one year ago) link

I love all the songs and videos and am really excited for the album to come out tomorrow.

I know she's the subject of significant controversy in Spain given her use of flamenco and Andalusian tropes generally as a woman from Catalonia. Are there any Spanish ILXors that can shed any further light on this? I've seen stuff on social media and other forums about it but there's not any English-language writing about it yet as far as I'm aware.

monotony, Wednesday, 31 October 2018 22:31 (one year ago) link

Listening to the new album now. It's pretty amazing.

US Spotify link

grawlix (unperson), Friday, 2 November 2018 14:01 (one year ago) link

really great on first listen. less poppy than I was expecting in some ways. every time I wasn't sure about a track it would swerve in some other, unexpected direction.

I feel like people into stuff like Kelela or FKA Twigs would be into this, though to my taste the amount of space given to the vocals on this is more appealing

rob, Friday, 2 November 2018 14:42 (one year ago) link

Interesting work of fusion. I like it as it is, Bagdad for example. Agree that Pienso en tu mirá is astounding.
I'm sure to check her next.

Nabozo, Monday, 5 November 2018 09:14 (one year ago) link

album is a bit underwhelming, not as poppy as the singles yeah so what I loved about those doesn't come through as strongly on the rest of the album. the Cry Me A River interpolation on Bagdad is kinda jarring too

ufo, Monday, 5 November 2018 09:18 (one year ago) link

Pienso en tu Mira is so gorgeous.

chap, Monday, 5 November 2018 11:26 (one year ago) link

The album is a lot more meditative than the singles suggested - I still find it very beautiful though, and I'm not too concerned about its failure to, outside the singles, lean into pop tropes, as she's apparently made a bunch of songs (some of which she's already playing live) with producers like Pharrell and a guy that did some stuff on the Cardi B album. I suspect her label will want to capitalise quickly on all this - the streaming numbers are enormous in Spain - and release a second album or EP sometime next year.

She also went all-out Rhythm Nation on this EMA performance which to me seems like more evidence that she's a burgeoning superstar:

Pitchfork gave a glowing review of the album today as well.

monotony, Thursday, 8 November 2018 06:29 (one year ago) link

Just shows how flexible these songs are. Compare to this performance:

Nabozo, Thursday, 8 November 2018 10:52 (one year ago) link

The Guardian also gave the album 5 stars last week.

brain (krakow), Thursday, 8 November 2018 12:28 (one year ago) link

Hearing the crowd sing along at that MTV performance was really something.

grawlix (unperson), Thursday, 8 November 2018 13:21 (one year ago) link

The Cry Me A River sample I think works in that it's so incongruous especially in a song that develops into faux-liturgical counterpoint. I wish I understood the words so I had more of a sense of what she was getting at there.

I know nothing about flamenco but this record is great. If she becomes huge I'm more interested in what mainstream pop can co-opt from her rather than the other way round. The way those handclaps just pop amid all the digital production is consistently fantastic.

Matt DC, Thursday, 8 November 2018 13:28 (one year ago) link

I don't truly speak Spanish but I can give it a go.

Y se va a quemar, si sigue ahí / And it will burn, if it continues like this
Las llamas van al cielo a morir / The flames rise to die in the sky
Ya no hay nadie más por ahí / There is nobody left around here
No hay nadie más, senta'íta dando palmas / There is nobody anymore, sit (?) and clap your hands

Por la noche, la sali'a del Bagdad / In the night, the exit (?) of Bagdad
Pelo negro, ojos oscuros / Black hair, dark eyes
Bonita pero apena' / Beautiful but only...
Senta'ita, cabizbaja dando palmas / Sit (?), head bent clapping hands
Mientras a su alrededor / While around her
Pasaban, la miraban / They pass, look at her
La miraban sin ver na' / They look at her without seeing anything
Solita en el infierno / She's alone in hell
En el infierno está atrapa' / In hell she's stuck
Senta'íta, las manos las juntaba / Sitting (?), she put her hands together
Que al compás por bulerías / To the rhythm of Bulerías
Parecía que rezaba / She seemed to pray

Junta las palmas y las separa / She joins her hands and separates them

De las luces / From the lights
Sale un ángel que cayó / Comes out an angel who fell
Tiene una marca en el alma / He's got a mark in his soul
Pero ella no se la vio / But she hasn't seen it
Senta'ita, al cielo quie' rezarle / Sit (?), in the sky who prays to him/her (?)
Prenda'ita de sus males / Ignited by her vices
Que Dios tendrá que cobrarle / So that God will have to cover her

not sure about all of it obviously

Nabozo, Thursday, 8 November 2018 14:43 (one year ago) link

woes, rather than vices

Nabozo, Thursday, 8 November 2018 14:46 (one year ago) link

Actually, she's probably the one burning (first line). Maybe it's an execution.

Nabozo, Thursday, 8 November 2018 14:50 (one year ago) link

There's a hefty interpolation of Jolene in one song as well.

Matt DC, Thursday, 8 November 2018 15:01 (one year ago) link

It took a couple listens to fix my malamente expectations, but this album is astonishingly good! I can't even isolate favored songs at this point. I can see why monotony called it "meditative" (as opposed to "banging" I think?), but it can also be quite dramatic in what I assume is a traditional flamenco vein, as on Reniego.

To Matt's point, I would love to see the consistently striking way the production handles acoustic space and vocal/sound arrangement catch on elsewhere. I thought JES's pitchfork review was v good--the "global bass" framing struck me as odd at first but thinking of this as a rooted-in-the-local antidote to generic pan-global trop-house is interesting.

rob, Thursday, 8 November 2018 15:10 (one year ago) link

A lot of pan-global trop-house/Spotify pop has a tendency to fill up every single available bit of space, this uses a not dissimilar sound palette in a much more imaginative way.

Matt DC, Thursday, 8 November 2018 15:14 (one year ago) link

❤️”Di Mi Nombre”❤️

breastcrawl, Friday, 9 November 2018 12:42 (one year ago) link

I know she's the subject of significant controversy in Spain given her use of flamenco and Andalusian tropes generally as a woman from Catalonia.

These seem to cover it pretty well, re: Gypsy culture and Andalusian culture:



The original articles were on El Español and I can't speak much Spanish, but the translation reads OK, apart from google often printing 'she' as 'he'.

A couple of quotes:

"The Gypsy activist Noelia Cortés believes that Rosalia 'uses the Gypsies as something cool to incorporate into her disguise, but she does not care socially' [no le importamos socialmente hablando]." – (El Español)

"Rosalía's own roots offer another complex variable to analyze appropriation: the Castilian-speaking culture of the Baix Llobregat [in the province of Barcelona], composed mostly of second and third generations of immigrants from Andalusia, Murcia or Extremadura, has certain affinities with that of their ancestors, whether on a musical level or in some dialectal aspects. The same happens with tracksuits or car tuning: they are characteristic elements of the poligonera culture, so associated with the Barcelona red belt.

"What the controversy reveals, in any case, is the penetration of the identity debate and theories about racial identities and historical discriminations in Spain. And also the complexity and subtlety of many readings about the cultural products that will come in the future." – (

sbahnhof, Friday, 9 November 2018 22:05 (one year ago) link

During the controversy earlier this year, she posted a playlist of flamenco songs that comprise the lyrics and melodies on the Los Ángeles album.

Aqui va esta playlist como regalo de reyes, donde podréis encontrar de donde aprendí los cantes que aparecen en Los Ángeles, con las letras y melodías que componen el disco. Que la disfrutéis!!🎁✨☺

— R O S A L Í A (@rosaliavt) January 4, 2018

"Malamente" won a UK Video Music Award for best pop video.

sbahnhof, Friday, 9 November 2018 22:30 (one year ago) link

this is not my fav album of a payo ex/appropriating flamenco this year. the relationship between gitano culture and spanish culture is more interesting to me than this music, which leans hard on these signifiers. the magnet article has the sort of weaselly equivocation I've seen before on this topic


The theoretical appropriation of Rosalia works and works well at the narrative level when the intent is directed towards the gypsy culture: the ethnic group has been socially and legally persecuted for five centuries, and although today there is no formal discrimination, the gypsies still live apart in many ways. cities and in permanent social exclusion. It is probably the only Spanish historical case to which the American racial narrative fits.


ogmor, Friday, 9 November 2018 23:28 (one year ago) link

the relationship between gitano culture and spanish culture is more interesting to me than this music, which leans hard on these signifiers

What did you think of Mala Rodriguez's last single/video? (She actually is gitana.)

grawlix (unperson), Saturday, 10 November 2018 01:08 (one year ago) link

this is a good album

j., Saturday, 10 November 2018 02:51 (one year ago) link

I like her singing and prefer the intensity & energy of that track to the cooler detachment of rosalia. as per matt dc, the way the claps work with the glossier sound are what's most striking to me about rosalia, & I wld imagine other ppl will lift that trick

ogmor, Monday, 12 November 2018 10:28 (one year ago) link

three weeks pass...

i love this album but man i'm so excited for her to drop her new shit

monotony, Monday, 3 December 2018 11:30 (one year ago) link

as if to further illustrate this ^ - new video for "bagdad" features a bit of "lo presiento" at the beginning

monotony, Wednesday, 5 December 2018 11:00 (one year ago) link

This review (from The Nation, of all places) was very interesting to me because I usually don't pay attention to lyrics, but the author makes it clear how crucial they are to this album:

grawlix (unperson), Tuesday, 18 December 2018 13:01 (one year ago) link

Missed this thread; discovered her (2) albums via end-of-year lists. Absolutely love them... her voice!

underqualified backing vocalist (morrisp), Tuesday, 18 December 2018 19:27 (one year ago) link

Way into both of these albums as well.

... (Eazy), Friday, 28 December 2018 05:39 (one year ago) link

Entertaining and slightly nerdy analysis.

octobeard, Monday, 31 December 2018 18:06 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

I'm updating the thread for no other reason than I still enjoy checking her different performances so much. Maybe I'm crazy but I still feel like she has this spectrum of moods that each of her songs works with and that make me scream art.
Someone tell how I left out this song from my top25, oh yes, it's partly because of the others.

Nabozo, Wednesday, 16 January 2019 21:39 (one year ago) link

Also she said she'd love to collab with Dua Lipa and that'd be ultimate sexiness, so fingers crossed.

Nabozo, Wednesday, 16 January 2019 21:41 (one year ago) link

“Di Mi Nombre” is still my favorite of hers.

breastcrawl, Wednesday, 16 January 2019 22:00 (one year ago) link

This is cool, first time I've seen a vid of her performing. I'm so into El Mal Querer

i stan corrected (morrisp), Wednesday, 16 January 2019 23:09 (one year ago) link

she's going to be on the james blake album out tomorrow

monotony, Thursday, 17 January 2019 06:44 (one year ago) link

And since you mentioned it. We hear her first, as we should. I'm not familiar with James Blake, but he makes me think of Anthony. Nice duo.

Nabozo, Saturday, 19 January 2019 21:17 (one year ago) link

Delicious actually. And incredible delicate performance. Her parts (my amateur translation):

Agujerito del cielo - Little hole in the sky
Cuelando el brillo de Dios - letting in the brilliance of God
Un rayo cayó en tus ojo' - a beam struck your eye
Y me partió el corazón - and split my heart
Agujerito del cielo - Little hole in the sky
Díctame por dónde ir - instruct me where to go
Para yo no equivocarme - so that I do not get it wrong
Y así ver mi porvenir - and thus see my future

Ya tengo to' lo que quiero - I already have al' that I desire
Ya no puedo pedir má' - I cannot ask for mo'
Cuando te tengo a mi la'o - When I have you by my sid'
Lo pasa'o se queda atrá' - The pas' is left behin'
Si te apartan de mi vera - If they separate me from your side
Y te tuviera que encontrar - And if I had to find you
Hasta allá te encontraría - I would find you up there
Como el río va a la mar - As the river goes to the sea

Nabozo, Saturday, 19 January 2019 22:06 (one year ago) link


Jeff the grown man (voodoo chili), Thursday, 30 May 2019 16:55 (ten months ago) link

hell yeah

rob, Thursday, 30 May 2019 17:13 (ten months ago) link

she is p much a genius

J0rdan S., Thursday, 30 May 2019 19:17 (ten months ago) link

Took me a few plays, but I like this track a lot -- a banger for real! (I'm straight-up dancing here in my "open plan" office environment)

get your hand outta my pocket universe (morrisp), Friday, 31 May 2019 18:18 (ten months ago) link

so is she shifting away from her flamenco influence

self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Monday, 3 June 2019 15:52 (ten months ago) link

yeah that song is summer for me right now

(•̪●) (carne asada), Monday, 3 June 2019 16:19 (ten months ago) link

I can't wait for her next album.

self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Monday, 3 June 2019 16:53 (ten months ago) link

I can’t wait for her to tour again; I missed her recent show here in L.A.

get your hand outta my pocket universe (morrisp), Monday, 3 June 2019 17:57 (ten months ago) link

Not as keen on this new song - her voice is transcendent and this track feels like its squandering her talent.

If her next album indeed does step away from flamenco, I hope she figures out a way to still showcase her vocal brilliance.

BTW, saw her live in SF and Barcelona, she's a must see act. Incredible performer.

octobeard, Tuesday, 4 June 2019 15:22 (ten months ago) link

I think the track is a good showcase for her voice; it's just in a different format than before....

get your hand outta my pocket universe (morrisp), Tuesday, 4 June 2019 19:51 (ten months ago) link

Madre mia rosalia bajale

✖✖✖ (Moka), Tuesday, 4 June 2019 19:52 (ten months ago) link

I like “Aute Cuture” a lot. Fully expecting the third single to be called “Costa Azul/Côte d’Azur” or something.

breastcrawl, Tuesday, 4 June 2019 20:22 (ten months ago) link

More a fan of Los Angeles and the more overtly Flamenco than where she's headed, but keeping an open mind.

Long way from covering "I See A Darkness"!

... (Eazy), Wednesday, 5 June 2019 17:01 (ten months ago) link

Man I love that cover

Theodor Adorno, perhaps the greatest philosopher alive today (morrisp), Wednesday, 5 June 2019 17:02 (ten months ago) link

Is "Aute Culture" produced by Pharrell ?
It really sounds like it is !
I don't really hear anything Flamenco (or Post Flamenco) but it's nice.

AlXTC from Paris, Thursday, 6 June 2019 08:53 (nine months ago) link

she's still working with El Guincho

ufo, Thursday, 6 June 2019 09:11 (nine months ago) link

There are Pharrell songs apparently but this isn’t one of them. This particular song has been around for a while and could’ve gone on the album, I guess, but it didn’t really fit with its narrative which is I suspect why she waited until now to put it out

monotony, Thursday, 6 June 2019 13:09 (nine months ago) link

I find it effortless, like she wrote it in her sleep, and it goes like a flash, but it's good.
I was with my girlfriend/wife buying Aubade lingerie (on sales) and Con Altura was playing. Close enough, could have been (h)aute c(o)uture.

Nabozo, Sunday, 9 June 2019 09:37 (nine months ago) link

just saw her at primavera sound in porto and yes, she's a genius.

Nourry, Sunday, 9 June 2019 12:56 (nine months ago) link

Sounds great! Seeing her at Roskilde in about a month, very much looking forward to it.

Frederik B, Sunday, 9 June 2019 13:19 (nine months ago) link

three weeks pass...

sean gramophone, Wednesday, 3 July 2019 16:16 (nine months ago) link


sean gramophone, Wednesday, 3 July 2019 16:16 (nine months ago) link

Good track but it's no Aute Cuture!

stan by me (morrisp), Wednesday, 3 July 2019 16:53 (nine months ago) link

I like that this one is sung in Catalan. Might be a while since a song in Catalan is heard and talked about outside of Spain.

I also like how the first half is filled with brags about the luxury and the things she can afford now a la “7 rings” vs the second half of the song condemning it: “God deliver us from money, when we have it.”

Makes the song more interesting than it has any right to be.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Thursday, 4 July 2019 04:24 (nine months ago) link

She was pretty fucking amazing last night at Roskilde. Six star reviews all over. Her final four songs included Con Altura, Aute Cuture and Malamente. She has quite the catalogue already.

Frederik B, Thursday, 4 July 2019 07:49 (nine months ago) link

Glastonbury set was incredible as well - fourth on the bill on the fourth stage but it felt like we were watching the headliner. Initially I thought her voice might be quite weak live but hell no.

I didn't realise she had people to either side of her doing the handclaps throughout and the rhythms were even harder to pin down live.

Matt DC, Thursday, 4 July 2019 08:34 (nine months ago) link

Geez, she comes to Bern next (where I work) but to do a stupid teenage festival where you pay 120 dollars for a day pass. Hurts me.

Nabozo, Thursday, 4 July 2019 19:08 (nine months ago) link

New songs are not wowing me

I went back tho& listened to the older stuff and I get The buzz tho. This def feels like retroactive props for stuff that was missed the first time

ILX’s bad boy (D-40), Saturday, 6 July 2019 17:55 (eight months ago) link

By the press I mean obv ilx was on it 👁

ILX’s bad boy (D-40), Saturday, 6 July 2019 17:55 (eight months ago) link

So far, after the little I’ve heard, I’m surprised by the hype/genius thing. I’m willing to get excited by something new though so I’ll keep listening !

AlXTC from Paris, Saturday, 6 July 2019 20:18 (eight months ago) link

one month passes...

octobeard, Thursday, 15 August 2019 17:29 (seven months ago) link

Perfect Rosalíaggaeton.

breastcrawl, Thursday, 15 August 2019 20:58 (seven months ago) link

the (extremely wrong) criticisms of "con altura" upthread kind of apply to this for me

dyl, Friday, 16 August 2019 02:34 (seven months ago) link

it's all right tho

dyl, Friday, 16 August 2019 02:34 (seven months ago) link

low key but romantic

J0rdan S., Friday, 16 August 2019 02:54 (seven months ago) link

def a full-throated foray into urbana this time, which isn't really what i look for in rosalia, but the hook has been in my head all day.

and it's way better if you watch the video

jakey mo collier (voodoo chili), Friday, 16 August 2019 02:59 (seven months ago) link

love it

sean gramophone, Sunday, 18 August 2019 02:44 (seven months ago) link

I have zero problems with this crass pandering manoeuvre

Tim F, Sunday, 18 August 2019 08:01 (seven months ago) link

the little hum at the end of the yo x ti chorus is soooo good

J0rdan S., Thursday, 22 August 2019 21:50 (seven months ago) link

ozuna is a good foil for her on this song too, his voice is so boyish

J0rdan S., Thursday, 22 August 2019 21:59 (seven months ago) link

one month passes...

Rosalía is great at ASMR. I think this should be interesting to watch even if you're not an ASMR devotee as she relates almost all of it to her music.

brain (krakow), Wednesday, 2 October 2019 22:41 (six months ago) link

one month passes...

self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Thursday, 7 November 2019 20:47 (four months ago) link

That’s dope

(•̪●) (carne asada), Thursday, 7 November 2019 21:15 (four months ago) link

two months pass...

New song “Juro Que” is a return to flamenco:

breastcrawl, Thursday, 23 January 2020 23:17 (two months ago) link

quite dramatic

dyl, Friday, 24 January 2020 01:38 (two months ago) link

The “narrative” didn’t really go where I thought it would go...

dad genes (morrisp), Friday, 24 January 2020 02:24 (two months ago) link

two months pass...

there's a trip-hoppy new single, "Dolerme"

not sure what I think of it...feels pretty album-track-ish?

rob, Tuesday, 24 March 2020 18:52 (one week ago) link

Just listened, I like it

morrisp, Thursday, 26 March 2020 20:19 (one week ago) link

tbf very little pop music is working for me right now, will have to revisit TBD

rob, Thursday, 26 March 2020 21:18 (one week ago) link

I like the verses and small experimentations but wish there was less autotune on the chorus.

Nabozo, Saturday, 28 March 2020 16:44 (one week ago) link

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